Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has given his response to the government’s Budget 2020, and it’s a huge improvement but still lacking in certain areas.
From childcare, to public housing, to renewable energy, Albanese honed in on massive issues which were overlooked or forgotten by the government’s budget.
“We have a once-in-a-generation chance to rebuild our economy and our country for the better,” he said.
Here’s Albo’s pitch for what a Labor government would do if it wins the next election around 2022.
Albanese noted that every state government, plus a bunch of big, polluting companies and other stakeholders, all support emissions targets. So it’s wild that the federal government won’t commit to a goal.
Labor’s answer is to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. That’s about 20 years too late from the loftier target of net zero by 2030, but it’s a tiny step in the right direction.
“We can be a renewable energy superpower, with clean energy powering a new era of metal manufacturing and hydrogen production,” he said.
He made no concrete commitments to investing in renewables like solar and wind, but he did give them decent lip service and commit to making the electricity grid more efficient.
As we said, baby steps.
While the government completely ignored childcare in its own Budget 2020, Albanese instead announced big changes that would help a lot of families.
He pledged to remove the cap on the childcare subsidy, meaning working parents (and mothers in particular) wouldn’t be disincentivised from working full-time.
The maximum subsidy would also be increased to 90%, which would ease the financial strain for 97% of families.
“Early education is vital for our children’s future,” he said
“And childcare is an essential service for families – and for the economy.”
Albanese compared making childcare more universal to other Labor achievements, including Medicare, superannuation, and the NDIS.
“If I’m Prime Minister – I will make quality, affordable childcare universal too,” he said.
Public housing was absent from Budget 2020, but Albanese, who grew up in public housing, had it firmly on the agenda for a post-COVID recovery.
“There’s 100,000 social housing dwellings around the country that are in urgent need of repair,” he said.
“If these were MPs offices they’d be fixed overnight.”
Fun fact: “Seagrass” appears more often than “social housing” in the 2020 Federal Budget papers.
(It’s mentioned once.) pic.twitter.com/qEKGBamPH5
— Ryan Sheales (@RyanSheales) October 6, 2020
“It would create thousands of jobs in construction and the trades and just like for my mum, it would give thousands of people a better life.”
He also mentioned the 200,000-odd Aussies who are on the waiting list for public housing, and implied a Labor government would build those houses if elected.
Albanese has big plans for rejuvenating Aussie manufacturing.
“Cutting down the Australian auto industry also cut Australia off from the next round of opportunities, dealing us out of a new wave of technology that could have been made in Elizabeth and Altona and Geelong but instead is being made in Detroit and Tokyo,” he said.
First up is his National Rail Manufacturing Plan, which would find opportunities to build and sell Aussie-made trains, in contrast to the Liberals who have repeatedly bought trains from overseas.
He said a Labor government would also implement other “concrete rules” to ensure whatever the government buys is built locally, if possible.
That extends to killing machines, too, with $270 billion in defense spending set for the next decade. Hmmm.
Straight after the budget reply, the Liberal Party slammed Albanese for not once mentioning “COVID-19” or “coronavirus”.
However unlike Josh Frydenberg‘s hollow pandemic rhetoric, Albanese actually spent a good deal of time proposing a Centre for Disease Control in Australia.
America already has one, but the assumption here is that Aussie politicians would actually listen to it in the event of, y’know, a global pandemic.
This pandemic caught the Government on the back foot. We can’t let that happen again. We need a Centre for Disease Control. pic.twitter.com/m1cWmeq7vP
— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) October 5, 2020
“The pandemic has exposed Australia’s vulnerability,” he said.
“The Royal Commission declared last week there was still no plan for aged care.”
Albanese said establishing such an organisation would bring Australia into line with other developed economies.
That being said, Australia is already faring better than most other developed economies.
A local CDC would just be a very beneficial cherry on top.